Impact investment fund Menterra invests in two companies

Raises more money from wealthy individuals and experienced entrepreneurs

Chennai, July 21

Menterra, an impact investment fund that will invest in early-stage social enterprises, has announced its investment in two ventures – Biosense Technologies, which develops and delivers point-of-care diagnostics solutions; and, Nubesol, an agri-business company that provides precision farming services to sugar companies. It did not disclose the amount that it invested.

Typically, Menterra Venture Advisors, which launched Menterra Social Impact Fund I, invests from Rs 1 crore to Rs 4 crore in social start-ups in education, health, agriculture and energy. It had invested in Delhi-based skills training enterprise Leap Skills in April.

Menterra also announced that it had raised money from high-profile individual investors with proven entrepreneurial track record and corporate experience. Menterra, which was launched in January as a Rs 40 crore fund, has now got investments from Arun Jain, founder of Polaris and Intellect with interest in healthcare and education; Amrit Banaspati Co Ltd, known for its FMCG brands; and, Suresh Vazirani, founder of Transasia Biomedicals, a leading in-vitro diagnostics company.

Biosense has been incubated at Villgro, which is Menterra’s incubation partner, since 2012 when the firm was formed by a group of doctors and engineers on IIT Bombay campus, according to a Menterra press release. Biosense devices are in use in 2,000 villages by 2,500 physicians. More than two lakh tests have been done using Biosense devices so far and the target is to cross one million by the end of this year. Biosense, according to the release, raised funding from Insitor, which is co-investing with Menterra.

The release said Nubesol used remote sensing technology and geographic information systems to capture, analyse and generate information on the soil and crop health at individual farm level.

Rianta Capital’s Artha Initiative is co-investing with Menterra in Biosense and Nubesol.

Published on July 21, 2016

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